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Part of USS Galahad: Noble Pursuits

The More Things Change

USS Galahad
Stardate 78025.8853
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Cimozjen Kurios paced in the unfamiliar mess, his mind already working at the problems that beset the new vessel. Sure, it had not been a ship in poor condition, but the size of an Intrepid class ship was still something that the captain found himself struggling with. The comparatively tight quarters of the Raven-class Thyanis had become a familiar blanket for the doctor after he had become a Starfleet officer. He had felt uneasy on Starbase Bravo, but at least on his old ship, he had been a bit more akin to private practice. He was still at the beck and call of Starfleet Command, but that was an albatross he had grown accustomed to. The smaller crew had reminded him of his residency at the San Francisco Medical Center. 

 

The time sitting at the dry dock made him restless. He had taken an expected dressing down for Etan’s decisions and actions at Rho Omega III. Starfleet Command had reprimanded him more harshly than he had passed down to his subordinate officer, but he realized this was just part of the life that he had chosen. Such was his price for an opportunity for greater study, to ply his trade as a healer. Sometimes, less than savory means were needed to get the job done. Starfleet Command had not seen it in the same warm light that he had. He was warned that such tactics would bring about more than a reprimand in future.

 

Thankfully, the crew did not seem to share his unease. They seemed ill at ease at this moment, grant it, but that could be chalked up to the growing silence as he paced. 

 

“I hope that you all enjoyed your brief shore leave.” He turned to the assembled crew, forcing a smile as he did so. The warmth of the smile did not reach his eyes. He looked at the former Thyanis crewmen expectantly.

 

“There really wasn’t much shore leave to be had, captain.” The human smiled back, his tone mildly mocking. “I didn’t even get a chance to visit the folks. Hardly the shore leave that I had hoped for.”

 

Cimozjen blinked twice, hedging between reprimand and joking back with the junior officer. Stahoes was a capable enough officer, if a bit too glib for his liking. Perhaps the man tried to mimic his captain’s candor, but the Trill was not particularly humored by it.“What I think the Junior Grade Lieutenant means, captain,” the comparably dry tone of his Romulan First Officer cut through the tension, “is that our shore leave was a bit briefer than we had expected. It didn’t offer the greatest amount of time to relax. I am sure he would have liked to at least call his mother.”

Cimozjen blinked twice again. Was that a cutting reference? A more genuine attempt at humor from his usually straight-laced second in command? This brought a more genuine smile to his lips. Perhaps he was rubbing off on her.

 

“Well, after our last little jaunt, Starfleet was a little less than satisfied with my command, Lieutenant.” He gave an exaggerated shrug. “So I have been told to be on my best behavior. ‘These kinds of indiscretions will not be so easily overlooked, Lieutenant Commander’ and that whole sort of thing.” He looked sideways. “Captain Rook sympathized with our act of kindness, but I have closer eyes on my operations in the Romulan Neutral Zones. More regular captain’s logs, more thorough reports, and the threat of an assignment to a starbase if I don’t mind myself better.” He stared into the middle distance, chewing over the details. “More adherence to protocol. Less like cowboys, more like the agent of the Federation that we are supposed to be.” He nodded to the Andorian officer who had raised her hand.

 

“If I may, I do have a report on the new ship as requested, captain.” The engineer waited for a single nod before continuing. “The refit has taken a bit longer because of our expanded medical labs and an updated science lab. We are carrying a new phaser array which should allow us to defend ourselves in case of hostile encounters in the Romulan Neutral Zone, and the updated sensor suite should allow us to detect spatial phenomena more easily. Ships can be picked up at a much greater range, and scanning planetary surfaces should yield much more precise readings.”

 

“Would that help us against oddities like those with the recent campaign?” The Trill’s eyes narrowed with the question. Cimozjen had heard some of the reports. There had been temporal anomalies, an encounter with a telepathic pitcher plant, and other unusual obstacles. Confusion filled Ensign Puhr’s eyes as she searched his face. “We managed to avoid a lot of that chaos being under the scrutiny that we were, but-”

 

“I haven’t read a great deal on the developments with regard to the Blood Dilithium, captain.” Her tone was apologetic. “I will try to ensure that we have contingencies in place.”

“I think,” Etan’s tone was thoughtful, “that we would be better set in running additional security training, reviewing our crew on First Contact procedure, and practice combat drills and simulations than prepare for something like what happened following the discovery of the Barzan wormhole. I think you will agree, captain?”

 

“If you would give me a moment to think,” Kurios shook his head as his frustrations began to mount, “you might get the answers you seek. The trouble is that the situation with the Blood Dilithium was not something we could have well prepared for. We can prepare for curing the sick, ailing the needy, pushing away any cheeky Orion and the things of that sort which fit our normal mission parameters. By contrast, theorizing against a dozen possible futures can only get us so far, and instead of playing guesswork I suggest you read up a bit. Viewing the historical records on ships like the Enterprise-D or the Voyager would better serve us to prepare for the unexpected than trying to prepare for every possibility. By having all of our cards in line, we will be better prepared for the unexpected. We have records and histories we can consult if need be. Don’t worry about what could be until we know what is.” 

 

He looked out at the crew who had largely remained silent as he tittered with his immediate bridge crew. Waving a hand in the air, he scowled. “You all have jobs to do, and you will execute them to the best of your ability. If you have a question, if you have a concern either bring it to our First Officer, or push them down and figure them out on your own time.” He pointed down at the deck plates to punctuate his point. “The Romulan Neutral Zone is still a mess, and we are out there to help sort it out. We are to render aid, not play heroes, not to mediate outside of our station, and not to play heroes. If we reach too far, push too hard, that is where people die.”The silence in the mess was deafening, and in that moment Kurios felt he had taken the situation a step too far.

 

“Captain,” Etan started, “if I may-”

 

“You may not. For that matter, you may report to my ready room, First Officer. That is what you may do. We can and will discuss this whole situation further in private, but right now the basic mission parameters are to be as stated. We will be returning to Rho Omega III to rendezvous with another Starfleet vessel before continuing with the Priority Mission. We are required to help reassess the scope of the mess that we created with the Thyanis. Beyond that, we will be aiding our allies in ensuring the area is secured. Once that is complete, we will move on to evaluate and assist additional worlds affected by the Terrellian Plague. Our mission remains largely the same. We are supposed to help these people to recover, help them to prosper. We. Are. Not. Heroes.” He punctuated each word before turning to stride out of the mess hall.

 

The tension thick, First Officer Etan started into action. “You heard the captain. I want you all to report to your stations bright and early at 0500 to review protocols for boarding. Within the week, we should be able to depart back to former Neutral Zone space. For now, you are all dismissed.”

 

Etan was flustered. What was going on with the captain that had the normally glib man so high-strung? The escalation was unusual, even for most humans, and certainly for most of his station. She stood, watching as the assembled officers and crewmen shuffled out of the mess. 

Perhaps she would offer to run the next batch of briefings on her own. Until she knew what was eating at her captain, the Romulan would have to be on her toes and on her best behavior. 

Comments

  • That was tense, I can see how the Captain feels after being basically punished that he doesn't want things to happen like that again. Though, one would think that maybe he's being a bit too harsh on the crew. I can't wait to see what happens with the crew of the Galahad. Great job!

    January 16, 2023